Christopher Columbus: What do You Think of That?

By: Julie Jordan Scott

Yesterday was warm and sunny.

My children and I enjoyed frolicking in the swimming pool, each of us
adding pink to our cheeks and smiles to our faces.

What a surprise to wake up this morning to a cold wind blowing and the
appearance of thick rain clouds.

To many parts of the country, this is not odd at all. In Bakersfield,
where we experience two seasons: very hot and fog, having two completely
different weather experiences within a span of 24 hours is highly
unusual. In shifting, we can get a bit off kilter.

A very practical example is this: if our intention for today was to wear
the same wardrobe as yesterday, we would be awfully uncomfortable today!
Instead, we have to think and respond differently. As we started our
day today, I asked Katherine if she wanted to wear the short sleeved top
and short skirt we put out the night before, or would she prefer I put
some cold weather clothes out instead.

She chose the cold weather clothes and we saved the spring clothes for
when the weather shifts back to warm.

We were not rigid to the choice we made last night. In the new weather
context, it simply did not make sense.

As we reach out and discover discover different realms with different
ways of being, it is most satisfying to navigate a bit differently.

Henry David Thoreau made this comment: "Be a Columbus to new continents
and worlds within you, opening new channels of thought."

School children throughout the United States and Canada will tell you
that Christopher Columbus discovered America when he was searching for
a faster, more efficient route to the riches of India. They will also
tell you he meant to prove that the Earth was not flat, that it was
round.

Others will tell you that Columbus was the first of many to begin the
downfall of a civilization.

Still others will say Columbus was a navigator of extreme skill, a
passionate seeker of God's will and a Commander of men who assisted in
ending an invasion of Spain even as he was not a Spaniard.

No matter what your opinion or thoughts are on who Christopher Columbus
was as a person, there are some remarkable facts to learn from his life.

1.

The relentless pursuit of his dream with a willingness to approach
it from different perspectives is what brought him remarkable success.
He had asked many to partner in his dream: in fact, when Ferdinand and
Isabella agreed, it was not the first time he made his request. He was
powered by a spiritual quest that would not be stilled.

2. He continued to hone his craft as he pursued his dream. He did not
stay still in his skills. Instead, he continued to march forward
growing and tweaking and marveling as he mastered navigation, leadership
and dreaming as large and wide as possible.

3. Once he made his initial voyage, he returned to his place of
discovery and branched out. His original intention was NOT to discover
a new continent, AND he did not make his discovery wrong! Instead, he
returned and looked for the lesson there. I have yet to call Columbus
a "failure" though if one were to look at his original "goal" and the
"outcome realized" the failure label might be appropriate. This is a
great example of finding "other" right answers or right ways.

4. When life throws curve balls, embrace them. Learn from them.
Expect anything and refocus accordingly instead of retreating and
deciding the straight way is the only way. This is a fact throughout
Columbus' life and beyond. It is still a mystery as to where his
remains are for eternity. Some say they are in the Caribbean and some
say Spain. And does it really matter? No. What matters is the impact
of the life as it is lived.

5. Listen to the quiet voice within. Spend time in contemplation.
Columbus spent time in a Franciscan monastery. With his flowing red
tresses and statueque form, I am sure he looked the part in his
religious garb. More importantly, he did not only LOOK the part, he
LIVED the part. His discoveries were not based solely in ego. His
discoveries were fueled by the Spiritual. Did the path devolve later
on? Perhaps. Perhaps not. The lesson remains the same: listen and
act upon the messages you hear.

Henry David Thoreau reminded his generation to open to new channels of '
thought as Columbus did. Today, continue this path and also open
yourself to new possibilities in passion. We can learn from the
lessons of the man sometimes called "The Navigator". As we maneuver
our ever brightening life, may we relentlessly pursue our dream. May
we continue to hone our craft. May we never make ourselves or others
around us wrongBusiness Management Articles, may we embrace life's curve balls and may we make it
a practice to listen to the quiet voice within.

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